I lived in Amsterdam from 2017 through 2020. I loved exploring corners of the city most tourists never see, and I continue to share the stories of those places with a worldwide English-speaking audience.
My Amsterdam travel writing has appeared in easyJet Traveller, Time Out, Preferred Travel, BA High Life, Are We Europe, the G Adventures blog, Ensemble Vacations publications, and Make Change.
The Dutch certainly know what they are doing when it comes to creating and displaying art. Amsterdam is a veritable treasure trove of artistic pleasure, and the city’s museums and galleries are teeming with historic pieces and future classics. Whether you’re looking for the best of the best from the Dutch Masters or your new favourite painter, you’re going to find it in Amsterdam.
Undoubtedly one of the great European destinations, Amsterdam’s roster of art museums and galleries may well be its strongest suit. Sure, the city has a nightlife that attracts revellers from all over the world, it has charming cafes and curious coffeeshops, innovative restaurants and a famous central district, but the cream of the crop? That’ll be these spots. Check out our pick of the best art museums and galleries in Amsterdam right now.
In many ways, modern travel is at its most vibrant in the cafe of a city, and Amsterdam is no different. Everyday life overflows here, as old friends catch up while young creatives furiously work away in the corner, with plenty of fantastic coffee and cakes to be enjoyed along the way. To be clear, if you want a coffee or a light meal in Amsterdam, then a coffeeshop is not the place to stop. Despite the name, those joints serve cannabis (yes, pun intended); you’re after a koffiehuis (or cafe).
Amsterdam’s centuries-old cafe and restaurant culture deserves celebrating, and what better way to pay homage than by nipping in for a hot cup of coffee and a delightfully massive cake? These are the best cafes in Amsterdam. Expect plenty of gorgeous canalside views, you lucky thing.
A night out in Amsterdam is one of the world’s great travel experiences. Not convinced? Visitors to this famous city have been stopping for a drink or three since the 1600s when sailors and traders alike exchanged tales over tipples before going their separate ways. The Dutch capital’s sightseeing options are among the best on the continent, but the best bars in Amsterdam keep the fun going late into the night.
Amsterdam’s eclectic soul shines brightest in its bars, where the traditional taverns of yesteryear sidle up to sleek lounges, hyper-stylish cocktail bars and craft breweries that continue this city’s proud history of revolution and innovation. You don’t need too much of a reason to stop for a drink in Amsterdam, and these bars should be high on your must-see list.
In the buzzing borough of Amsterdam-Noord, shipyards have become cultural playgrounds and wide-open spaces beckon young families, artists, brewers and entrepreneurs. Hop on the free ferry from Centraal Station, in the opposite direction to most international visitors, to reach NDSM Wharf: the centre of Amsterdam's street art scene and home to Europe's largest monthly flea market at IJ-Hallen (these days with increased stall spacing and one-way route markers).
On this side of the River IJ, Noord's young creatives have built a flourishing community of multi-concept businesses, like the cinema-slash-waterfront restaurant at FC Hyena (now with added drive-in theatre), SkateCafe – where you can take a break from the half-pipe for a meal and a glass of natural wine – and the urban beach at Pllek, with its airy organic restaurant built from old shipping containers.
The angular Eye Filmmuseum, Noord's most iconic modern building, lies just a short bike ride from traditional villages lined with gabled wooden homes. Then, for a dose of adrenalin (plus an awesome view of the entire neighbourhood and the rest of Amsterdam beyond), brave Europe's highest swing, perched atop A'DAM Tower.–Christina Newberry
Amsterdam is a compact capital city that's perfect for exploring on foot. At its centre, the concentric circles of the 17th-century canal ring ensure you never walk in a straight line for long, and there's something to discover around almost every bend…
For Preferred Travel magazine, I interviewed Amsterdam locals Kor Hoebe and Tessel de Heij about their favourite ways to spend a weekend in the city. You might not be able to follow their suggestions now, but there are some great tips for next summer.
When you think of Dutch food, do you picture a raw herring or a big wedge of Gouda cheese? You should absolutely try these classics on your visit to Amsterdam, but don't miss the chance to dive deeper into the city's food culture with these can't-miss local dining experiences…